GBP/USD Forecast Aug. 19-23 – Pound halts sharp slide

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GBP/USD posted gains for the first time in five weeks, climbing close to 1.0%. The upcoming week will be quiet, with only three events. Here is an outlook for the highlights of the upcoming week and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD.

In the U.K., employment numbers were a mix. Wage growth jumped to 3.7%, its strongest gain in more than 9 years. Unemployment rolls climbed by 28.0 thousand below the estimate of 42.0 thousand. Inflation strengthened in July, as CPI rose to 2.1% and the core reading climbed to 1.9%. Retail sales slowed to 0.2%, down from 1.0% a month earlier.

In the U.S., consumer inflation and spending numbers were solid. CPI climbed 0.3% in July, matching the forecast. Core CPI remained steady at 0.3%, beating the forecast of 0.2%. Retail sales rose 0.7%, easily beating the estimate of 0.4%. Core retail sales sparkled with a gain of 1.0%, its best showing since March. On the manufacturing front, the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index slowed to 16.8, but still beat the estimate of 10.1.

GBP/USD daily graph with resistance and support lines on it. Click to enlarge:

  1. CBI Industrial Order Expectations: Tuesday, 10:00. The Confederation of British Industry survey pointed to a sharp drop in manufacturing orders in July, falling to -34. This was considerably lower than the estimate of -15. Another soft reading is expected in August, with an estimate of -25.
  2. Public Sector Net Borrowing: Wednesday, 8:30. Britain’s monthly deficit jumped to GBP 6.5 billion in June, up from 4.5 billion a month earlier. However, a rare surplus is expected in July, with a forecast of -3.7 billion.
  3. CBI Realized Sales: Thursday, 10:00. Sales volume was lower in June, but the reading of -16 was better than the previous reading of -42. The indicator has shown higher sales volume only once since November, indicative of weakness in consumer spending. The estimate for July is -13.

* All times are GMT

GBP/USD Technical analysis

Technical lines from top to bottom:

We start with resistance at 1.2535. This line has held since mid-July. This is followed by 1.2420.

1.2330 (mentioned last week) was a reliable support level in the first half of the year, but was breached in late July.

The round number of 1.22 is next.

1.2080 remained relevant throughout the week. It starts the week as a weak resistance level.

The round number of 1.20 is the first support level.

1.1943 is next.

1.1904 was the low point in October 2016.

The round number of 1.18 is the final line for now.

I remain bearish on GBP/USD

The British pound managed to stem the bleeding last week, but the currency remains vulnerable. The pound plunged over 4.0% in July, and dropped close to the symbolic 1.20 level earlier this month. The Brexit knot is weighing on the pound, and with Boris Johnson at the helm, the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit is even higher.

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Kenny Fisher - Senior Writer A native of Toronto, Canada, Kenneth worked for seven years in the marketing and trading departments at Bendix, a foreign exchange company in Toronto. Kenneth is also a lawyer, and has extensive experience as an editor and writer.

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